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Bone & Soft Tissue Cancer


Musculoskeletal cancer is any cancer that develops in bone or soft tissue, such as muscle. This can include bone cancer (bone sarcoma), soft tissue sarcoma and bone cancer that has spread from other parts of your body (metastatic carcinoma).


Bone cancer symptoms may include pain in the affected bone, swelling near the affected bone, broken bones and fatigue.

Soft tissue sarcoma may not have early symptoms, but may later be a lump or swelling and may cause pain if it presses on a nerve or muscle.


To diagnose your condition, we use several types of screening tools:

  • X-rays
  • CT (computed tomography): With a CT, we can see if musculoskeletal cancer has spread into your lungs, liver or other organs. CT-guided needle biopsy guides a biopsy needle precisely into a suspected metastasis.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): MRI scans can show us the outline of a bone tumor, which helps doctors correctly diagnose you and create a treatment plan. 
  • Bone scan: This imaging technique helps reveal if a cancer has spread to other bones in your body and can show how much damage the primary cancer has caused in the bone.
  • PET/CT: This technology combines CT images and nuclear medicine images to show both anatomical structure and cancer in a single image. PET/CT scans may be used to uncover cancer distant from the original tumor site.
  • Tissue biopsy: Your doctor will remove a sample of tissue taken from the tumor so it can be examined to determine whether it is truly cancer or another disease.

Treatment Options

If you’re diagnosed with musculoskeletal cancer, your doctor may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • Surgery: We’ll remove the tumor with a wide margin around it. This is the primary treatment for musculoskeletal cancer.
  • Chemotherapy: Musculoskeletal cancer treatment often includes chemotherapy in combination with other therapies.
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiofrequency ablation: This is minimally invasive treatment technique that can be used for some bone tumors.


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